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  • Manchester by the Sea

    Manchester by the Sea

    ★★★★★

    I remember very vividly what it's like to feel broken. I don't think any other film has captured that feeling like this did.

    This is life after loss. There's no big climax, no happily ever after. Just people trying to figure things out and move on. That's all you can ask for when your dad drops dead without warning, like Joe did, like mine did.

    You pick up the pieces, and try to mend, and go forward. This isn't just a movie. This is life.

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  • 28 Days Later

    28 Days Later

    ★★★★

    Brutal and game-changing - don’t forget that The Walking Dead pulls its “guy in a coma” opening straight from here. The World War Z adaptation lifts tons, too, from the fast, viral zombies to the ridiculous Pepsi product placement.

    But for once, the zombies actually aren’t that much of a focus. Instead we look more at two parallels - the soldiers going monstrous in a different way, and Jim’s rampage near the end. One less outwardly brutal but infinitely worse, and the other done for good but brutal in execution. It might’ve been a gamble on the creators’ part, but it works great.

  • Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron

    Hellboy Animated: Blood and Iron

    ★★

    Not much substance here. Ron Perlman shines, and some of the fights are cool, but it lacks Mignola's visual style and any of del Toro's magic touch. More like an extended TV episode than the DC Animated film it strives to be.

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  • The Fly

    The Fly

    ★★★★½

    Film #20 of Hooptober Cinco

    "Am I becoming a hundred-and-eighty-five-pound fly? No, I'm becoming something that never existed before. I'm becoming... Brundlefly. Don't you think that's worth a Nobel Prize or two?"

    A disgusting achievement both in special effects and storytelling. What was once known as a cheesy 50's sci-fi creature flick is now a slow burn romantic tragedy with some truly gross body horror thrown in there (I noped the fuck out at the fingernail scene). Less actual Brundlefly than I expected, but that's not what the movie's about, and it's better for it.

  • The Birds

    The Birds

    ★★★★½

    Film #28 of Hooptober Cinco

    "I hardly think a few birds are going to bring about the end of the world."

    This is the tale of a big, catastrophic event - but it's not about the people who discover and defeat it. This is about ordinary people with their own lives getting trapped on the side. And it's chilling. Hitchcock uses sound effects and a lack of music to create scenes both shocking and eerie. When hell breaks loose, it's all the worse because of all the time we've spent with these people we'e come to care about.